Getting more for your money in the most unexpected place
I often get on my soap-box about bad customer service. I also preach (sorry) that you should all expect more for your money, be it shopping online or grabbing the weekly groceries. But I have to admit, even I thought this one was out of my out of my grasp. I’m referring to my recent trip to, wait for it, the dentist.
I am admittedly no fan of dentists. I’m allergic to pain and suffering, and they’re usually not in short supply at the tooth doctor. My last visit was over a year ago because of a completely rotten experience. I had to wait forever to see someone, I was flat-out insulted, my mouth was cut to shreds from the x-rays and I was then told I needed over $4000 worth of work. I declined (I later found out it was unnecessary work anyway), I came home in a sulk and my wife said she’d find us a better dentist. It took her a while.
Then, a few months ago, she said she had found our dentist. I was skeptical to say the least, but she was so happy that I had to admit, I was curious. After her appointment she received a thank you card from the office. Then, a $10 gift card to Jamba Juice. And she also came home with a state-of-the-art power toothbrush that she paid way less than retail for.
Value for money, friendly customer service, thank you cards, gifts. Could this be right? Aren’t we supposed to loathe the dentist? Well, I had my first appointment on Wednesday and I was genuinely taken aback.
When I arrived, I was greeted by a warm smile from the receptionist and she said “Hi Paul, how are you today?” She knew my name. No cold stare, no “where’s your insurance card?” just a genuine expression of being pleased to see me.
I was ushered to a chair, offered a cold drink and I filled out my paperwork. Then I went into the dreaded dentist’s chair where one of three people that day got to work. First, I had my x-rays taken. The technician was gentle and concerned for my well-being. After that, she asked if I would like moulds made of my teeth for whitening. I wasn’t so sure, until she said “it’s free…and so is the whitening gel, for life.”
Once again, my perceptions were challenged, but I happily took my freebie because whitening procedures are really expensive. Then, a dental hygienist entered the room and spent over an hour cleaning my teeth, finishing by massaging my gums and jaw. When I saw my dentist I was happy and content, and he used the latest laser equipment to detect cavities. I had some, but I really didn’t care at this point. I had been treated so well the news was minor.
I’m having my fillings done in a week. But I’m not bothered. In fact, I’m genuinely fine with going back. I can bring my favorite movie to watch, or I can choose from a wide selection in the office. And as my wife can already attest to, I won’t feel a thing.
Why is this story important? Because it shows that some people can actually get it right. They make you feel like more than just a number, they volunteer to give you genuinely expensive services for free, they even know your name when you walk in the door. It is something sadly missing from this world of large corporations. And I for one am loving this breath of fresh air. If you're not getting this kind of service from your dentist, doctor, optometrist, vet or anything else, maybe you should look around.
By the way, if anyone lives in Colorado the practice is called Cherokee Trail Dental Care and they can be reached at (303) 457 5288. They are filling up with patients fast, which is hardly surprising. It’s not a paid endorsement, they don’t even know I’m writing this article. But I think what goes around comes around, and that works for good deeds as well as bad. I advise anyone who runs a business, large or small, to pay close attention to this small practice with big ideas. It is without a doubt my best customer experience this year, if not this decade.